Melbourne Art Gallery – Monday 26th December 2011


Melbourne has a great arts centre with two galleries, one for international artists and the other for Australian ones. Today we went to the main gallery. After such dreadful weather the entrance water feature made us feel cold!

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There are so many wonderful paintings and sculptures it is hard to know where to start. Picasso’s Green lady, several Constables including a wonderful oil sketch on cardboard of sky. Turner, his light sizzling through the canvas, but I was disappointed to learn he sometimes painted a light scene and then used it as a background to add features to order on. This made me feel slightly cheated by him!

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The Pre Raphalites were well represented with several Hughes, including his son’s work, and Bruce-Jones including a stained glass window from a hospital in Salford.
Pisarro’s Boulevard de Montmartre, several Manet which look clinical against the Monet exhibits and lots of Rodin sculptures.
But the exhibition I enjoyed most was inspired by biology, called Dewdrops and Sunshine by Ranjani Sheetar. Look her up on YouTube to see how they had to place hundreds of different length pins into adjoining walls. My photos do not do it justice.

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Two nets with beeswax globes such delicacy threaded from floor to ceiling to wall and, its shadows created a gossamer pattern that had incredible depth. The photos I took of this so understate the beauty of it, I will not share them!
Steel, muslin, tamarind paste sculpted together in almost birdlike shapes fly through the air with incredible grace, but are inspired by the unique patterns created by the mucus of a sneeze.

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I just loved Ranjani’s work and urge you to seek it out because the 3 dimensional quality of this art is essential to its appreciation I feel.

Also in the gallery on the third floor was an exhibition of Pacific artists, mostly modern but all touching back to their ethnic cultural heritage. Masks, animals, shields of great colour, nearly all using natural materials. A most impressive room and the kind of thing we rarely see in England, more is the pity.

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